Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2020 - 2021 
    Jun 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2020 - 2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Major: Performance/Composition Emphasis B.A.

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The music major prepares students for professional careers and/or graduate study in the discipline of music. The major combines music theory and history with practical participation in a variety of musical activities, including performance ensembles and private music study. Students graduating with the music major can find employment in public school teaching, private studio instruction, performance, church ministries, the recording industry and many other music business enterprises. Some professions require additional music training and students are encouraged to continue studies at the graduate level or in specialized schools.


Music majors choose from three areas of emphasis: 1) music performance and/or composition, 2) church music and 3) music education. Students are officially admitted into the music major once the Level 1 Exam has been passed in their freshmen year.


Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will actively engage in music making, demonstrating basic proficiency on the piano and advanced skills on his/her primary instrument in both solo and ensemble settings.
  2. Students will engage in music scholarship by exhibiting in-depth knowledge of music history and producing high quality artifacts of scholarly writing backed up by competent research.
  3. Students will demonstrate mastery and thorough understanding of the elements of music as presented in both written and aural formats.
  4. Students will outline the Biblical Principles, historical trends, contemporary practices, and a personal philosophy of music's role in Christian worship.
  5. Students will notate music at a level suitable for publication using Finale or equivalent music notation software and prepare scores in MIDI files acceptable for public presentation (music composition majors only).

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno


Prerequisites (6 Units)

Applied Music (Private Instruction) (8 Units)

Enrollment in private music instruction in the student's primary instrument is required each semester of attendance, totaling at least 8 units (including at least 4 upper-division units) on the same instrument.

Ensemble (16 units minimum)

Participation in a performance ensemble is required each semester of attendance. This requirement includes all music students regardless of primary instrument. All ensemble participation units may be taken in any of these ensembles:

Additional Requirements

All music majors must pass a piano proficiency exam. Enrollment in Piano Proficiency Class (MUS 132) or Private Piano Instruction (MUS 135) is required until the exam is passed. Transfer students who have passed the piano proficiency test at another institution are required to pass the FPU piano proficiency exam as well.


  • Level Exams: Passing the Level 1 exam signals official admittance into the music department major and is a prerequisite for admittance to Music Theory and Analysis (MUS 310). The Level 2 exam must be passed at least one semester prior to the senior recital (MUS 495 - Senior Project MUS 497 - Senior Project in Music Composition ).
  • During the final year of study, graduating music majors are required to present a senior performance recital. Students will register for MUS 495 - Senior Project  or MUS 497 - Senior Project in Music Composition  during the semester of the scheduled recital. A portfolio chronicling the student's activities in music is due the semester of graduation. The portfolio is especially important for music education majors.
  • Voice performance majors are required to participate in four semesters of MUS 115 - Vocal Performance Workshop.
  • Keyboard majors and church music majors are encouraged to take one semester of organ instruction during their years of college study. Keyboard majors may be asked to accompany voice or instrumental students for rehearsals and student recitals.


NOTE: Composition emphasis students must pass the Level 2 performance jury exam in composition, as well as the Level 1 exam on their primary instrument.

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